Sept. 18, 2014- 6-7pm PST 1230AM KLAV in LV & The Web
Iconic Lead Singer of REO Speedwagon Kevin Cronin guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong.
“Keep On Loving You” rockers REO Speedwagon will bring nearly 40 years of hits to the Orleans Showroom September 19-20.
Loosely formed in 1967 playing frat parties at the University of Illinois, REO Speedwagon signed with Epic Records in 1971. The band released nine albums throughout the ‘70s, culminating with the twice-platinum “You Can Tune a Piano but You Can’t Tuna Fish” in 1978.
REO Speedwagon exploded to the top of the charts, setting the bar for other rock bands with their 1980 release “Hi Infidelity.” The colossal hit spent 15 weeks at #1 on the Billboard 200, selling more than 10 million copies. The group’s most commercially successful album, it remained on the charts for 65 weeks and spawned the #1 single “Keep On Loving You” as well as hits “Take It on the Run,” “In Your Letter” and “Don’t Let Him Go.”
The band continued releasing hit albums into the ‘80s, including 1984’s “Wheels Are Turnin’” and its #1 single “Can’t Fight This Feeling.” REO Speedwagon released “Find Your Own Way Home,” their 15th studio album, in 2007. Two years later, they teamed up with fellow Midwestern rockers Styx for the single “Can’t Stop Rockin’,” which became the title track for the groups’ hit summer tour with .38 Special.
The current lineup includes founding member Neal Doughty, iconic lead singer Kevin Cronin, longtime bass player Bruce Hall, former Ted Nugent guitarist Dave Amato and former Wang Chung drummer Bryan Hitt.
Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull)
Legendary Prog Pioneer Ian Anderson guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk.
A sequel to Thick as a Brick (1972), entitled Thick as a Brick 2, was released on 3 April 2012. It is billed as being performed by Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson instead of being a Tull album proper. Anderson is currently on tour performing both albums in their entirety. A trailer for the newer TAAB album is posted on YouTube.
Anderson played the flute on the track “Cannonball” by The Darkness on their 2012 album, Hot Cakes.
Congratulations on your new album release Homo Erraticus.-a concept album blending rock, folk, and metal music.
Ian Anderson at at Palms Sept. 19.
Actor/Director Ted Lange guests on LVBST with Comedian Michele LaFong.
Comedian Jeff Wayne, will be performing his one-man show, “Big Daddy’s Barbeque,” for one day only at the Starbright Theater, 2215 Thomas Ryan Blvd., Summerlin, Sunday, Sept. 21.
The Los Angeles Times says this show is “Ferociously funny.” Variety dubbed the show “a one-man riot.” NPR says, “Jeff Wayne has an attitude like Al Bundy, this guy is laughs plus!” Wayne spent many hours researching barbeques, as he began writing the show. Once it was on paper he went to his friend, Ted Lange, who is best remembered as, Isaac (the bartender) on the television series, “The Love Boat,” and asked him if he would direct the show. Lange has kept busy since the “Boat” years directing movies. He just completed filming 26 episodes of “Mr. Box Office,” starring Jon Lovitz, and will be on the “Love Boat” float in the annual Rose Bowl Parade.
The plot of the show is simple: Jeff plays a letter carrier on his day off. He has his weekly barbeque, where he invites his friends over (the audience), and as he cooks Wayne pontificates and opines. “They say you should cut down on red meat, I stopped using Ketchup.” And he tells his audience about the lady we never see but her presence permeates, his XX-wife Phyllis. “Yes we were married, divorced and then I remarried, I wanted my house back!” There is a problem at today’s barbeque, Phyllis has been given tickets to the opera, and she wants to go. Big Daddy doesn’t. Many critics have had the same response, “it’s like watching Ralph and Alice Kramden in the “Honeymooners,” as Big Daddy tries to laugh, sing and dance his way out of going to the opera.
Wayne was always a funny kid, and as soon as he was able to leave Kentucky, Jeff traveled west to learn how to make people laugh, eventually landing at the world famous Comedy Store in Hollywood. A seasoned veteran today, Wayne continues to perform his stand-up comedy at clubs, colleges, cruise lines, and on all the top television shows such as HBO, Showtime, A&E, Fox, and Comedy Central. The late Joe Delaney, of The Las Vegas Sun, tagged him as a “blue collar Lenny Bruce.”
Show time will be at 3:00 p.m., Sunday Sept. 21.call the theater box-office at 702-240-1301.
Sept. 11, 2014- 6-7pm PST 1230AM KLAV in LV & The Web
NBC’s Last Comic Standing winner Rod Man guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong.
Rod’s television appearances include “Def Comedy Jam”, “Bet’s Comic View” and “Showtime at the Apollo”. Most recently, Rod appeared on “Premium Blend” on Comedy Central as well as the dvd’s “Big Black Comedy Show vol. 2″ with Monique and “P. Diddy’s Bad Boys of Comedy”. He has been featured in the films “Love Chronicles” and “Player’s Ball”.
Rod has become an award-winning, quintessential entertainer. He has graced the stage at Caesar’s Place, The Gibson Amphitheater, and The Apollo Theater. Comedy Central gave him his own half hour special. And he has made many other television appearances, among them “The Bad Boys of Comedy” for HBO, Martin Lawrence’s “First Amendment” for Starz, Nick Cannon’s “Wild ‘N Out” for MTV, “One Mic Stand” for BET, “The Funny Spot” for TV One, and “The World Stands Up” for BBC America and The Monique Show. Rod can be seen on the big screen in Judd Apatow’s “Funny People” starring Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen for Universal Pictures.He even co-hosted a morning drive-time show in Los Angeles on Stevie Wonder owned KJLH Radio 102.3 FM
Rod Man is headlining at The Aliante Casino in The Comedians from “Last Comic Standing” with runner-up Lachlan Patterson, and Mark Normand on Sept. 13, 8pm & 10:30pm.
2012 International Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee Al Bernstein returns on LVBST. He will be covering the Mayweather vs. Maidana fight for Showtime at MGM on Sept. 13.
For just over 30 years, Al Bernstein has been one of the most recognizable and respected sportscasters in America. In those three decades, the “voice of boxing” reported the funny, poignant, and bizarre events that helped shape sports television, ESPN, boxing, Las Vegas, and Showtime. With an eclectic cast of characters that includes every big name in boxing, including Marvin Hagler, Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, as well as such names in the entertainment world as Rodney Dangerfield, Sylvester Stallone, Russell Crowe, and Jerry Lewis, Bernstein’s memoir will have you in stitches.
Al Bernstein’s book, 30 Years, 30 Undeniable Truths about Sports, Boxing and TV,” and has already received a great reception. People from the sports, entertainment and media world are talking about this book. Talks about female broadcasters, tells his “Mike Tyson story,”
The Lennon Sisters
Kathy Lennon, of The Lennon Sisters, guests on LV backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong.
The Lennon Sisters made their TV debut on Christmas Eve 1955 on “The Lawrence Welk Show” when youngest member Janet was just nine years old. Following their successful debut, Welk professionally adopted the girls and The Lennon Sisters became regulars on the program every Saturday night for the next 13 years.
Later, the sisters entered the music scene with their first hit, “Tonight, You Belong to Me” reaching #15 on the charts in 1956. Labeled “America’s Sweethearts of Song,” they recorded their first album, “Let’s Get Acquainted,” in May of 1957.
In 1961, the group’s single “Sad Movies (Make Me Cry)” reached #1, becoming their highest charting record. Other popular recordings include “Scarlet Ribbons,” “Greensleeves,” and Schubert’s “Ave Maria.”
Throughout the ‘70s, The Lennon Sisters toured extensively and made regular performances on “The Andy Williams Show.” The group also appeared on “Family Feud,” “Hollywood Squares” and “Tattletales.”
The Lennon Sisters are comprised of original members Janet and Kathy and younger sister Mimi.
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By Michele LaFong
(Click on article to enlarge)
Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong-
monthly syndicated column in Casino Player Magazine, and Gaming Today.
Coming off the heels of guesting on LVBST just two weeks earlier to discuss the exciting details of his new recording deal, Emmy Award winner Clint Holmes returned to LVBST to announce that Aug 1-3, would be his last weekend performing at his monthly resident weekend engagement at The Cabaret Room in The Smith Center before taking a hiatus in order to make time for his new gig… to star in GEORGIA ON MY MIND: Celebrating the Music of Ray Charles – at The Venetian Theatre this fall. Clint explained; “When the producer, Larry Rosen first asked me to do the show I said “you know…I don’t sound like Ray Charles, I don’t even sing like Ray Charles…Larry said “that’s not what we’re looking for. We want artists that do their interpretations of his songs. Co-Stars 10-time Grammy award-winning vocal group TAKE 6, six-time Grammy nominee and Downbeat Vocalist of the Year Nnenna Freelon, and Stella Gospel Award and Grammy award-winning saxophone star Kirk Whalum also do not sound like Ray Charles.” The show introduces the Las Vegas Mass Choir, under the direction of James R. Smith and Edie Aikels, and features the Las Vegas All-Star Big Band, under the direction of pianist and conductor, David Loeb. GEORGIA ON MY MIND, will be in the Venetian Theatre September 18 through October 29, 2014. Clint will return to The Smith Center in time to present his Christmas show.
Joy Behar may have retired as Co-Host from ABC’s The View…but that’s about all she’s retired from. In my latest interview with Joy she had this to say; “I lost about 18 pounds altogether after getting off The View…That show made me fat! Now that I’m off… it’s so much less stressful. It’s a whole new group over there. Let’s see how fat they all get!” That’s what I always loved about Joy…You never knew what was going to come out of her mouth next! “I’m doing more stand-up again, as well as working on a One Woman Show, which has more of a storyline than stand-up called “Me, My Mouth, and I.” We’re currently looking for an Off-Broadway Theatre in New York.” When asked about other future goals in the works, she replied, “I’d be open to doing TV again…but it would have to be the right project.” Joy’s interview aired on August 14. A video clip of her and Colin Quinn on HLN, laughing about doing gigs for me back in the ‘80’s is posted on casinoplayer.com, gamingtoday.com, and is posted below.
Another popular, funny and exciting guest returning to LVBST is “the Voice of Boxing” himself, my next door neighbor and friend Al Bernstein. On Sept. 11, Al will be guesting in-studio giving us more backstage stories, celebrity updates and of course his take on the big upcoming Mayweather/Maidana fight at The MGM Grand that he is covering on Sept. 13 on Showtime.
Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Globe Winner Paul Williams returned on LVBST calling in from Dublin! Between being President of ASCAP, speaking to congress about songwriters getting paid in the digital age, and preparing for his new book release on Sept. 17th on Penguin called “Gratitude and Trust”, and winning another Grammy Award this year…we ran out of time before could hear the rest of what might be next for Paul Williams!
Rudy Ruettiger, whose life-story was the inspiration for the movie “Rudy,” one of the most inspiring movies of our time, guested in-studio together with his producer, Tony Sacca to promote the premiere of his new multi-media one-man show, “Rudy,” starring Rudy Ruettiger at the Troesh Studio Theater in The Smith Center Aug. 9. The show, like the movie is about his life story of how he accomplished his dream of going to Notre Dame and convinced Hollywood to make a movie of his life, which earned him an invitation to the White House. “After seeing Mike Tyson’s one-man show, I knew that I too could do this. The ultimate goal is Broadway.” Why Not?!
Here’s a treat: “End of Summer Bash,” a FREE concert featuring Gary Lewis & The Playboys, Brooklyn Bridge, The Rip Chords, 1910 Fruitgum Company on Saturday, Sept. 6, at 4pm at The Cannery.
Nevada’s 150th birthday is being planned for Monday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. in Reynolds Hall at The Smith Center. Proceeds will benefit The Smith Center’s education outreach programs. This variety show is a not-to-be missed event that will feature some of the best entertainers of the Las Vegas Strip as they come together for one night only to celebrate Nevada’s cultural heritage. Proceeds will benefit The Smith Center’s education outreach programs. Tickets are $25 to $100. Some of the names already scheduled to appear include: Bob Anderson, Susan Anton, Cirque du Soleil, Véronic DiCaire, Clint Holmes, Human Nature, Jersey Boys, Robin Leach, Jerry Lewis, Frankie Moreno, Penn& Teller and many more backed by The Lon Bronson All-Star Band and boosted by the Las Vegas Mass Choir.
The Best of Jethro Tull will be played by Legendary prog pioneer Ian Anderson at The Pearl inside The Palms Resort on Sept. 19. My two segment interview with Ian will air on Sept. 18.
Sept. headline entertainment really heats up in September as evidenced by the length and quality of the names in “My Picks” this month. LVBST should have great choices for interviews!
Rock of The 80’s-The Romantics, The Smithereens, Marshall Crenshaw, Tommy Tutone, Eastside Cannery, Sept. 5
Jerry Seinfeld, Caesars Palace, Sept. 5 & 6
Jim Breuer, South Point, Sept. 5 & 6
Kevin Hart & Friends Comedy All-Stars, The Cosmopolitan, Sept. 5
Susie Essman, The Venetian, Sept. 5 & 6
Deana Carter, Sunset Station, Sept. 6
Neil Sedaka, The Orleans, Sept. 6 & 7
Gabriel Iglesias, The Mirage, Sept. 12-14
Arturo Sandaval, The Smith Center, Sept. 13
Deana Martin, South Point, Sept. 13 & 14
Marc Anthony, Planet Hollywood, Sept. 13
The Guess Who, Eastside Cannery, Aug. 16
Diana Ross, Caesars Palace, Sept. 19
Ray Romano, The Mirage, Sept. 19 & 20
REO Speedwagon, The Orleans, Sept. 19 & 20
Tony Orlando, South Point, Sept. 19-21
Tesla Eastside Cannery, Sept. 20
Joan Osborne, M Resort, Sept. 20
Rod Stewart, Caesars Palace, Sept. 19- Oct. 5
Gordon Lightfoot, The Smith Center, Sept. 24
Bill Cosby, Treasure Island, Sept. 26
Daniel Tosh, The Mirage, Sept. 26 & 27
Katy Perry, MGM Grand, Sept. 26
Paula Poundstone, The Orleans, Sept. 26 & 27
Ralphie May, South Point, Sept. 26-28
Crosby, Stills & Nash, Palms, Sept. 27
Jerry Lewis, Smith Center, Sept. 30
Lorde, Hard Rock, Sept. 30
Sept. 4, 2014- 6-7pm PST 1230AM KLAV in LV & The Web
Susie Essman guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk radio show with Comedian Michele LaFong.
Susie Essman has played the sassy Susie Greene for all eight seasons of the critically-acclaimed HBO comedy series, Curb Your Enthusiasm. The Los Angeles Times calls Susie, “The most lyrical purveyor of profanity on television.” She has appeared in her own half-hour HBO comedy special, made numerous appearances on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The View, and Crank Yankers.
Susie Essman is appearing at the Sands Showroom at The Venetian as part of the Lipshtick series: Saturday, Sept. 6: 7:30pm
For more about Susie go to www.susieessman.com
Recently Lachlan was on NBC’s hit competition show “Last Comic Standing”. Patterson’s signature style moved him through to the finals and was announced the runner up. While on the show he received high praises from this season’s celebrity judges Keenan Wayans, Russell Peters, and Roseanne Barr. “So funny. So great. Your writing is fantastic and your delivery is one of a kind. I think you could take this whole show” says LCS judge Rosanne Barr. Even Russell Peters mentioned he’d love to go on tour with Lachlan.
This hilarious stand out comedian other television appearances include “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham,” “Tosh.O.,” the FX comedy “Legit” and VH1’s “Sexiest Artists.”
Lachlan will be appearing at The Aliante Casino on Sept. 13, at 8pm, & 10:30pm in Last Comic Standing with winner Rodman.
For more go to Lachlanpatterson.com
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Our friend: “America’s Got Talent” Finalist Gregory Popovich
“Popovich and the Voice of the Fabled American West” – the first film for performer Gregory Popovich and second feature film for local brothers Jerry and Mike Thompson – will premiere at the Las Vegas Film Festival this weekend and to the public during a screening at the end of the month.
The family friendly film tells the story of Popovich, a former circus legend struggling as a street performer on the wild streets of Las Vegas. When his junkyard home full of stray animals is put in danger, he and his animal pals use all their circus tricks to save it. See the trailer for the film here.
This summer, the film competed in the 17th Annual Dances with Films festival in Los Angeles and won the Audience Choice Award.
The Lied Animal Foundation will receive $1 from every ticket sold to the public screening.
WHO: Gregory Popovich, star of the film as well as of the Strip favorite the “World Famous Popovich Comedy Pet Theater” at Planet Hollywood, along with the film’s directors and Las Vegas natives, Jerry and Mike Thompson (Rancho High School and UNLV graduates), will be available for interviews before and after the screening. The film features more than 45 animals, most were rescued from the local Lied Animal Foundation.
WHEN: Las Vegas Film Festival – 1:20 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 3
Public Screening – 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 30-31
WHERE: Las Vegas Film Festival: Public Screening:
Inspire Theater Brendan Theaters, inside the Palms
Corner of Fremont Street and Las Vegas 4321 W. Flamingo Road
Boulevard in Downtown Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV 89103
Aug. 28, 2014- 6-7pm PST 1230AM KLAV in LV & The Web
Fred Turner, of Bachman & Turner, guests on Las Vegas Backstage Talk with Comedian Michele LaFong.
The musicians at the heart of legendary band Bachman-Turner Overdrive are recording and touring again as a new, full-throttle rock machine: Bachman & Turner. They will be appearing at The Cannery on Aug. 30, at 8pm.
After over 20 years of fan demand, Randy Bachman and Fred Turner-two giants of rock n’ roll-are finally re-united.
The duo and their top-notch band have released their first new single in two decades, “Rollin’ Along,” which is currently available for streaming at their website bachmanandturner.com and for sale at iTunes. The track offers fans a long-awaited glimpse into Bachman & Turner’s self-titled, brand new album currently set for a September 7th release on E1 Music (Canada), and RBE Music/Fontana (U.S.). Bachman & Turner’s upcoming studio album will be stocked with all original new tracks penned by the pair; in addition to “Rollin’ Along,” the album’s anthems include “Rock and Roll Is the Only Way Out” and “Slave To the Rhythm,” which have a sound that seamlessly fits alongside Bachman-Turner Overdrive classics “Takin’ Care of Business” and “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet.”
Over the course of a four-year run, Bachman-Turner Overdrive sold in excess of 30 million records, earning a staggering 120 platinum, gold and silver discs, and notching up hits in more than 20 countries. The band reached #1 on Billboard’s singles chart (“You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet”) and album chart (Not Fragile), as well as scoring another handful of hits including “Taking Care of Business,” “Hey You,” “My Wheels Won’t Turn” and “Looking Out for #1.”
With the two singers sharing lead vocal duties, the album features smoking mid-tempo anthems such as “Rock ‘N’ Roll is the Only Way Out” and “Rollin’ Along,” as well as the funky riff of “Moonlight Rider” and a slow-burning blues shuffle, “Waiting Game.” In addition, tracks like “Slave to the Rhythm” offer a gratifying fusion of chords with catchy choruses, not to mention the distinctive growling vocals familiar to fans from Bachman-Turner Overdrive classics such as “Let it Ride” and “Roll on Down the Highway.”
For more go to their website: bachmanandturner.com
Actress and comedienne Sommore guests on LVBST with Comedian Michele LaFong.
Equal parts classy and sassy, Sommore’s frank, fearless routines and controversial wit have garnered loyal fans worldwide. Among the top-grossing stand-up comediennes in the United States and abroad, Oprah Winfrey proclaimed her “a force to be reckoned with in the new millennium.”
New Jersey native Sommore began her career as the first woman to host BET’s ”Comic View,” later hosting Russell Simmons’ “Def Comedy Jam” and “Showtime at the Apollo.” In 2000, she entered “The Guinness Book of World Records,” performing for an audience of more than 50,000 people in Atlanta as part of the “Queens of Comedy” tour. A recording of the show became the longest-running and highest-rated special in the history of Showtime Networks. She is the 1995 recipient of the Richard Pryor Award for Comic of the Year.
Sommore’s film credits include roles in “Soul Plane,” “Friday After Next” and “Something New.” She has also graced the small screen, appearing on “Flavor of Love,” as a regular on “1 vs. 100” and competing for the winning team on season six of “Celebrity Fit Club.” Her comedy specials “The Queen Stands Alone” (Comedy Central, 2008) and “Chandelier Status” (Showtime Networks, 2012) earned rave reviews.
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